West Adelaide Football Club – History Group

Bob Sampson

Background and Status

Back in early 2014, there was renewed interest to re-activate the otherwise dormant activities associated with conserving, preserving and better displaying much of the WAFC history.

Within a short period of time a cross section of keen people had committed to taking on the challenge, and the WAFC History Group was formed. The Board provided a room since named the “Mark Beswick History Room” for storage and other activities.

The Group’s charter and objectives included actions to collect, categorise, conserve and preserve archival material and items related to the history of the WAFC.

It was imperative that the history collection be managed and maintained using best practice, and as far as is practical using best conservation standards available, based on the funding allocated by the WAFC and/or raised by the History Group.  A collection register was also created listing all catalogued items.

It is important that the History Group continues to seek out, acquire, store, preserve, display and interpret artefacts, documents, photographs, which collectively represent the history of the WAFC.  Additionally the Group feels it important to display and provide interpretation to the public, for as much of the collection possible, from time to time, including digitally copied photographs, records and other materials

Artefact and object valuations are obtained from reputable sources, for financial accounting and insurance purposes, and to maximise the financial return on any potential sale of surplus items.

History Group Committee formation (10 in total)

  • Chairperson
  • Vice Chairperson.
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Plus up to a maximum of 6 other History Group members

The History Group meets as and when necessary, with a minimum of three meetings held within each year, one being the Annual General Meeting in February each year.  Many of the programed informal meetings are very much so ‘hands on’ sessions whereby assessing and cataloguing items form the key action.

Recent activities

Over the past two years a huge amount of effort has been put into cataloguing and protecting a high number of artefacts, objects and materials.  A high number of photographs have been digitally scanned and loaded into the master data base.

A large quantity of high-value items such as club and members badges has already been formally valued, and that figure amalgamated within the WAFC asset register.

Also of importance to the History Group is collecting oral histories, which has occurred with interviews conducted and recorded with several past-players, and the intention is to continue to interview further past-players and various officials associated with our Club. These will be displayed on the club web site.

The first public viewing of the WAFC history collection was conducted in July 2019, with a very wide cross section of items spread out and on display.  Some of the collection accessible for viewing that day included; club blazers, guernseys, trophies, numerous framed photographs, medals and memorabilia.  Considerable interest was shown with many enthused about conducted a similar event next year.



As the History Group is responsible for the secure safekeeping of the Club’s

collection of history, everyone should at least consider helping the WAFC to preserve, maintain and improve the Club’s history for future generations to come.

If considering leaving an artefact or your collection of items, or a gift, you are encouraged to contact the WAFC to discuss your plans as it is very important to understand about any potential additions to our collection.

The WAFC fully understand that if leaving a gift as part of your Will, when preparing and/or updating it, the first priority should be that your family and friends are provided for, however a Will is also an excellent way to acknowledge and remember organisations important to you.

Making a personal donation or leaving a legacy is possibly the most important gift anyone can make to the WAFC.  All such gestures and gifts are acknowledged in the most appropriate manner, for you and the club.